Megaton Sword - Interview
The Swiss Megaton Sword could cause some furor in the epic heavy metal underground with their second album "Might & Power" and so I asked the band if they would like to tell something more about themselves. So I was allowed to have a very entertaining conversation with their bass player Simon the Sorcerer about the history and background of the band via Zoom. Have fun reading.
Hello Simon, how are you?
Very well, I would say (laughs)
You are still a relatively unknown and young band - can you briefly introduce yourselves?
We are Megaton Sword and we formed in 2018. Our singer, our drummer and I met at an Obituary concert. I knew our singer for a while, he wasn't a close friend but I knew him; but our drummer I didn't know yet. We got to talking during the breaks and it turned out that we were all up for an epic metal project. At that time Eternal Champion had just released "The Armour Of Ire" album and so it went fast. I wrote the first riff and we met. I'm the bass player and I can't really play guitar and I asked my buddy Chris if he would like to join us, at least for a try and then pretty quickly we got the first five songs together that are on the Niralet EP and then it went pretty fast with the first album. Then at the end of 2020 our second guitarist, Seth Angel, joined us. We play epic heavy metal in the broadest sense, a bit Manowar-like, I'd say.
I saw that you are going on tour soon - are you already excited and busy rehearsing?
Yes, we are. The day after tomorrow we have a record release party at our place in Winterthur and then we have some gigs and a smaller tour with Venator, our label friends, together. We're looking forward to it, none of us have done anything like that yet. I think I once played with my old band for four days straight and now it's nine.
Your new album "Might & Power" has caused quite a stir in the scene - are you satisfied with how it all turned out?
The feedback has been terrific for the most part, for both albums. I still think it's hard to start a band and establish yourself worldwide, even if it's only underground and there are really people interested in the band besides your best friends. For us it's already a success.
Are you actually good buddies? According to MA, there hasn't been a single change in your line-up yet...
Chris, our guitarist, I've known for over 20 years and he's one of my best friends and I know all the others from making music. We are now a sworn bunch. We not only rehearse together, but we also go to concerts or have a beer together. It's not a working relationship (laughs).
Musically you go in the same direction as Eternal Champion, Visigoth etc., but you also have many reminiscences of Manowar or Manilla Road. Do you see yourselves as a kind of connection of the old and new scene or what do you orient yourselves on?
I think the "Armour Of Ire" album of Eternal Champion was already the reason to form this band, but our singer and I have been into traditional heavy metal for a long time. We listen to quite a bit between rock and extreme metal. We don't try to be extremely pigeonholed into one track and I think you can hear that in our material, which, at least I think, is pretty diverse and has quite a few influences aside from Manowar. When we formed the band in 2018, we listened to quite a lot of bands like that, but in the meantime the interest in them has decreased a bit.
Speaking of Manowar, what do you think about the new song?
Haha, yeah, what can I say about that? It's interesting that you can release a song like that. I think all Manowar fans have heard it at least once, although they could have known what to expect (laughs). Let's put it this way.
I have to say that I didn't make it. I turned it off after three minutes. Your singer Uzzy sounds much more powerful and flexible than on the debut - what did he change?
Basically, he practiced a lot more. He had been singing quieter in his old band, a space rock band. People call that the hard vocals or the hard parts on the new album and I think he already did that on the EP and the first album, just not as convincingly as he does now on the new album. I think it fits extremely well with the new songs, the switching from the hard parts and the clean sung.
Lyrically, it's a lot about fantasy with you. Can you go into a little more detail?
Basically this whole fantasy concept is set on a fictional world called Xarkar. One continent of it is Niralet, which is the name of the EP, and the whole story is actually the playground of our singer. The other four of us don't bring any input to it. Every song we've released so far relates to that storyline and there's an internal band quasi-wikipedia where all the plots are written down. It's difficult to refer to a single song, our singer would probably have to say something about that. In any case, there is a consistent concept.
That sounds very interesting. I assume that it will be continued?
Yes, this will definitely continue and we have already discussed making it public in some form, but at the moment we simply don't have the time.
Did you actually give Paolo Girardi any guidelines regarding the cool cover? I wouldn't have thought it was his, since it's quite different from his usual covers.
It is a commissioned work. We sent him a primitive sketch and a description with what we roughly imagined - the glass coffin with the woman inside, the monster, the dead knights and the archways you see in the background. We gave him the concept for this and he made a draft in the first step, which we then approved. After that, he finished it.
What books and music would you recommend to a Megaton Sword fan?
Musically our inspirations are Manowar, Saxon, one of my favorite bands and I always have to say that I find the new Saxon albums since "Lionheart" and even "Metalhead" at least as good as the old classics. I have been trying to convince people to listen to the "new" stuff since the 2000s. Newer stuff is Famine, that's a British doom band with some grunge influences in it. I think that's very cool, from Grand Magus I also think every album is cool, Arkham Witch is also cool and apart from our sound Hangman's Chair. The "Alone" album is a mixture of doom and hardcore, an incredibly cool album. It's not traditional metal, but one of the best bands of the last time, I think. I can't recommend any books, I don't read that many books (laughs).
Can we expect any news in the near future?
No, actually not. Videos are an ongoing topic, actually we wanted to do that, but it didn't work out in terms of time and we definitely want to do that on the next album. For now we want to play live as much as possible.
The last words to our readers belong to you!
Thanks for the support, whoever is reading this (laughs) and thanks for the invite.
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